In my culture and in my family, we have a tradition that with your first full-time work paycheck, you buy a gift for your close family members as a token of appreciation for their role in raising and inspiring you. When I was younger, I always wanted to act and perform on stage. As the oldest child in an immigrant family, we didn't have the means for me to risk pursuing such a volatile career field. I went into engineering and eventually put myself through business school and now am in the entertainment field working on getting diverse representation on screen and behind the camera.
My brother, who is seven years younger than me, used to come and sit front and center to watch me perform in my high school musicals. As he grew up, he worked incredibly hard practicing for hours each day for years on end and eventually was able to get into one of the top colleges for musical theater. After graduating in 2017 at age 21, he went through eight callback auditions--the last one with Tina Fey--and booked a lead role (Kevin G) in the Mean Girls Broadway Musical! As a thank you for my support throughout his journey, he bought me the Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase that he knew I had my eye on and we engraved his Broadway debut date on the half-hunter style case back.
Whenever I glance down and see the watch on my wrist, I think about how grateful I am for my parents' sacrifice of working two jobs each along with our scholarships and work-study to put us through school, about how proud I am of my brother for persevering and pursuing what he loves, and about how the American Dream is still very much alive and well for those willing to get after it. I can hardly wait for the day that I'm able to raise children of my own into strong, independent, conscientious citizens and pass this watch down to them as my first family heirloom.
- Tanmay from New York
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